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In War & Peace with Joyce DiDonato

The Pureland Series at China Exchange invites you to experience the healing power of music in a talk by Grammy award-winning opera star, Joyce DiDonato.

DiDonato will discuss the impact of conflict and her hopes for finding harmony through music. With the release of a new album, In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music, and ahead of a sell-out performance at the Barbican, expect a sneak preview of the voice that was described by the Times as “nothing less than 24-carat gold”.

As one of the most prominent opera stars in the world today DiDonato has amassed extraordinary reviews the world over, in operas by Rossini, Handel and Mozart and is a fierce advocate of the capacity of the arts to find peace in a tumultuous world.

War and Peace: Harmony Through Music is DiDonato’s response to the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. Recorded with Il Pomo d’Oro under its principal conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, DiDonato had originally planned an exploratory album with an emphasis on rare arias, but in the light of the tragic events she rethought her approach, giving it wider and deeper implications.

Containing music by Purcell and Handel, including a dignified, searing lament from Dido and Aeneas and the haunting and heartbreaking ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ from Rinaldo, her selection of music conveys the power that music has to transcend borders, connect the disconnected and ultimately unify us all.

Kansas-born and one of seven children, DiDonato says, “As a citizen of the world in 2016, at times I am overwhelmed by the temptation to spiral down into the turmoil and pessimism that seemingly invades all corners of our lives, pulling me into the dispiriting din of upheaval which can devastate the spirit. And yet, I’m a belligerent, proud, willing optimist. I resist.”

And so DiDonato asks, “In the midst of chaos, how do you find peace?”

Watch Joyce DiDonato on the Today Show

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